Warriors encounter countless professors during their college careers. To show our appreciation, we wanted to highlight two Communications professors who had a positive impact on our experience at Winona State University.



Dr. Kelly Herold


When I think about a professor who goes the extra mile for their students, the first that comes to mind is Dr. Kelly Herold.  Dr. Herold taught my freshman communications class, and I am very thankful I had him for my first semester of college.

Dr. Herold encourages his students both inside and outside the classroom.

He shows his support when you first enter the classroom. Every morning, Dr. Herold personally greets his students as they walk through the door.  

During class, Dr. Herold pushes his students to reach their full potential. He challenges them to do their best when practicing public speaking because he knows it is an important skill for any major to master. However, he is also very understanding, and he works with students who are anxious about speaking in front of the class.  

Dr. Herold personally helped me get over my nervousness when it comes to public speaking, which in turn has allowed me to feel more comfortable participating in other classes.

At the end of each class, Dr. Herold lists off his office hours and encourages students to stop by his office, even if it is to chat about something unrelated to school. He often invites his students to join him for a game of basketball in the IWC as well.

Once a semester, Dr. Herold hosts a potluck for his students to attend at his house.  Everyone is in charge of bringing something, and the night is spent sitting around a fire, taking a break from schoolwork.  

Dr. Herold uses the last class period before finals for more than just reviewing. He has all his students write down their dream job and their ideal place to live. Afterward, he roams around the room to read what everyone wrote, gives them advice for achieving those goals, and even tells some that he has connections in that location or career field.  

Lastly, he urges the class to reach out to him throughout their time at WSU if they ever need anything.

It should be no surprise to anyone who knows Dr. Herold that he is a subject in this post. Winona State University is very lucky to have a professor like Dr. Herold who goes above and beyond to help his students succeed.  

Photo by Brian Waldbillig ’18

Dr. Tammy Swenson Lepper

Dr. Lepper in the Communication Studies Department has made an impact on my journey at Winona State University since my first week as a freshman. 

I came to college knowing I wanted to pursue graduate school for school counseling, but I was unsure what I wanted to focus on in my undergrad. 

While taking a nonverbal communication class with Dr. Lepper my first semester, I became extremely interested in the area of Communication Studies. One day after class, I talked to Dr. Lepper about possibly changing my major. That was the best decision I could have ever made.

Now in my senior year, I can say that Dr. Lepper has supported me the most and given me the tools to succeed in my life after graduation. 

With the knowledge I have learned in her classes and the life talks we have had in her office, Dr. Lepper has helped me become a better person both inside and outside the classroom.

Dr. Lepper has been a great mentor for me while I work on conducting research for my senior seminar class. She has given me feedback on what I can focus on to complement my interests. 

I am so thankful to have a professor who really knows me and my interests enough to help me discover a research topic that I am passionate about.

I often wonder where I would be if I had not taken nonverbal communication with Dr. Lepper and had that conversation about switching my major to communication studies. I greatly appreciate Dr. Lepper and all that she has done for me as I complete my undergrad and take my next steps toward graduate school.

The relationship I have fostered with Dr. Lepper is one that I would not wish any other way. 

As a school counselor, I hope to create strong connections with my students the way Dr. Lepper does with her own. 

Photo by Kelsa Katzfey ’21

Show your appreciation for a professor who has personally impacted your experience at Winona State University!

– Brooklynn Howell and Carly Sylvester